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Brazil: Civil society says Supreme court's decision aimed at curbing 'fake news' violates freedom of press

Author: Transparency International Brazil, Published on: 17 April 2019

"Supreme court decision in Brazil violates freedom of the press and sets concerning precedent", 17 Apr 2019

A decision by Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF) to demand the suppression of a media report concerning one of the court’s sitting judges violates the freedom of the press, warns Transparency International Brazil. The demand to remove the report from the internet is unacceptable, risks the international image of Brazil and goes against fundamental principles of the democratic rule of law... Last month the president of the court, Dias Toffoli, initiated a secretive investigation into ‘fake news’ and threats to the STF and its members. The investigation was widely criticised as an abuse of authority and unconstitutional, including by Transparency International Brazil... This week’s news...confirms fears about the risks of arbitrariness in this secret investigation... The systematic, organized, and intentional dissemination of fake news is one of the greatest threats to democracy today. However, it must be countered using regular judicial procedures. If the STF’s secretive ‘fake news’ investigation continues in its current form, it risks of threatening more freedoms than it curbs crimes... 

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